UW wins Game 1 of Super-Regional

SEATTLE - Lauren Greer homered to break a 3-3 tie and Danielle Lawrie pitched a four hitter to give the sixth seeded and 11th ranked Huskies a 4-3 win over the 11th seeded and second ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in Game 1 of the best of 3 super regional at Husky Softball Stadium on a sunny Friday afternoon.

With the win in their first postseason home game since 2000 the Huskies lead the series 1-0 and upped their record to 39-17, while Alabama dropped to 55-9. The Huskies stand just one win away from their eighth Women's College World Series appearance and first since 2004.

The Huskies took a 1-0 lead with a run in the bottom of the first against Blair Potter. Ashley Charters led off with a single to center, moved to second on a groundout by Marnie Koziol, stole third, and scored on a single to center by Dominique Lastrapes.

The Huskies added a pair of runs to make it 3-0 in the bottom of the second. Greer led off with a single and then, on a grounder to third by Ashlyn Watson, beat Kelly Montalvo's throw to second.

Originally Greer was called out but after a conference between the umpires, she was ruled safe, with Watson safe at first. Alicia Matthews advanced the runners with a sacrifice, and then Nicole Moojen laid down a squeeze to score Greer and move Watson to third. Tide catcher Ashley Holcombe attempted to pick Watson off third while Charters was at-bat, but threw the ball into left field, allowing Watson to score. Charters got on base with an infield single and most likely would have scored but left fielder Mandy Burford made a tremendous over the shoulder catch on a line drive by Koziol to left field.

The Huskies needed those runs because they got shaky on defense in the top of the third, allowing Alabama to score three to tie the game. Holcombe led off with the Tide's first hit against Lawrie, a line single to right. Michelle Menningmann then hit a tapper between the circle and plate. Lawrie fielded it and had plenty of time to throw Menningmann out, but instead fired the ball over Dena Tyson's head for an error, allowing pinch runner Mallory Benak to take third and Menningmann second.

Lawrie then hit Kellie Eubanks with a 2-2 pitch to load the bases for leadoff batter Brittany Rogers, who hit a chopper to Lastrapes. The Husky second baseman attempted to throw Benak at home, but she beat the throw to make it 3-1 and keep the bases loaded. Jordan Praytor then reached on an infield single, scoring Menningmann. After Lawrie struck out Montalvo swinging, Dani Woods lofted a sacrifice fly to center, scoring Eubanks with the tying run.

After going in order against Potter in the third, the Huskies broke the tie in the bottom of the fourth when Greer lined a 2-2 pitch over the wall in left field for her sixth home run of the season.

Lawrie made the run stand, improving to 28-11 with the complete game victory. She allowed three runs, two earned, on four hits and one walk while striking out nine. For Alabama Potter suffered the complete game loss to drop to 20-3. She allowed six hits but did not walk a batter and struck out five.

Offensively, Greer and Charters led the Huskies. Greer finished 2 for 3 with a home run, two runs scored and a run batted in, while Charters went 3 for 3 with a run scored. For the Tide, Praytor and Holcombe got two hits apiece.

The two teams return to Husky Softball Stadium for Game 2 on Saturday at 12 noon, with a decisive third game, should Alabama win, scheduled for 2:30 p.m.

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